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Special Olympics Hawai'i E-newsletter

December 2015


Donate Today and Double Your Impact!

It’s not too late to make your year-end tax-deductible donation! Make a gift to Special Olympics Hawai’i anytime before December 31, 2015, and an anonymous donor will match your contribution dollar for dollar up to $25,000.

This means that for every dollar you give, your gift will have double the impact. These critical funds allow Special Olympics Hawai’i to reach more athletes, provide additional services and show the world more than ever what people with intellectual disabilities can accomplish.

Donate today.

In 2015 alone Special Olympics Hawai’i was able to give more than 3,700 preschoolers, youth and adults with intellectual disabilities the chance to participate in sports activities, training and competitions. Over 1,000 Unified partners without disabilities played alongside these athletes demonstrating how sports can bring people together and break down barriers. With your help we can continue to bring the transformative power of sports to even more individuals with intellectual disabilities.

See if you can triple the impact of your donation by checking if your company will match your donation to Special Olympics Hawai’i to have an even greater impact!



Special Olympics Hawai’i Celebrates 2015 Awardees

At our recent Holiday Classic our organization recognized those who go above and beyond. Whether it is representing Hawaii on a global platform at the Special Olympics World Games, providing scaffolding for Cop on Top for the last 12 years, making waves as an outstanding volunteer or as a local media outlet, helping to promote fundraisers, volunteer recruitment or Torch Run events, all of these people and organizations effect change within the Special Olympics organization and make an impact for our athletes.

Please join us in congratulating this year’s award winners. We could not do what we do without each of their contributions!

-      Outstanding Organization:  Koba Hanohano and the Hawaii County Parks and Recreation Panaewa Park

-      Outstanding Organization: Safway

-      Outstanding School: Hilo High School

-      Unified Partner: Violet Kauahi-Kali, Kamalii Koa

-      Outstanding Volunteer: Tricia Shillingford, Red Waves

-      Outstanding Coach: Christopher Mione, Honokaa Hawks

-      Outstanding Family: Wan Family, Ducks

-      Outstanding Athlete, Male: Ikaika Morita-Sunada, Kamalii Koa

-      Outstanding Athlete, Female: Mary Kujat, Maui Delegation

We would also like to recognize this year’s Hall of Fame inductees. This award is only presented to those who have made a lifetime commitment and gone above and beyond to serve our organization. This year we inducted four special individuals including:

-      Janet Clark

-      Jeffrey Macaysa, Explosions (in memoriam)

-      Cindy Shizuma, Kamalii Koa

-      Carey Uchida, Special Olympics East Hawaii



Jersey Fun Run Shoes in NFL Pro Bowl Festivities

The second annual ESPN 1420 Jersey Fun Run is set for Saturday, January 23, 2016 at Aloha Stadium. This year’s event will serve as the kickoff to the NFL Pro Bowl Week in Hawai’i.

Interested participants may sign up for the 2016 ESPN 1420 Jersey Fun Run at Active.Com. An Early Bird rate of $5 off is valid through December 31, 2015.

Proceeds from the event will once again benefit Special Olympics Hawai’i.

The ESPN 1420 Jersey Fun Run is a family-friendly 5K run/walk that takes participants in and around Aloha Stadium. Sports fans of all ages are encouraged to wear their favorite team jerseys or colors as they explore parts of the stadium usually accessible only to players, coaches and Aloha Stadium personnel. The runners/walkers also get to run across Hawaiian Airlines Field and can take part in fun-filled games and challenges at various activity stations.

Pre-race festivities will begin at 8:30 a.m. with a rally, vendors, concessions and prize giveaways. The run will start promptly at 10:30 a.m.

“More than 500 sports fans took part in our inaugural Jersey Fun Run, and we expect our 2016 event to be even bigger and better,” said Mike Kelly, President and General Manager of ESPN 1420. “We have partnered with the NFL to make the Jersey Fun Run a fantastic way to launch NFL Pro Bowl Week in Hawai’i.”

“Special Olympics Hawai’i is excited to continue our partnership with ESPN 1420 and the Pro Bowl as the beneficiary of the 2016 Jersey Fun Run,” said Nancy Bottelo, Special Olympics Hawai’i President and CEO. “Working with ESPN 1420 continues to create opportunities and drive awareness for our athletes and recognize them for the true competitors and champions that they are.”


Hilo High School Lives Unified

By Mollie Bruhl, Project Unify Coordinator

True social inclusion can be found just up the hill from picturesque Hilo Bay, in the halls of Hilo High School. It’s a big school with an enrollment of 1,200, but students will tell you that they still feel the ohana connection. This family feel is found in the school’s Project UNIFY program, which teacher Jo Ann Nishimoto has brilliantly led for the last six years.

At Hilo High, students in special education and the Project UNIFY Club go classroom to classroom presenting information on unified activities and the message of Project UNIFY. This lets the entire school know that they can get involved and also keeps everyone informed, adding to the connectedness felt throughout the campus.

Unified partner Kylee stated after last month’s Holiday Classic, “I really like how everyone feels like a big family together and how everyone gets along.” Another unified partner McKenna said, “we are just a big happy family!” And a family they are, celebrating with potlucks and parties after big events and spending lunchtime together as a team and club.

Hilo High School competes in unified track & field and unified bocce every year. Most recently, Hilo High School brought seven unified bocce teams to the Holiday Classic State Games on Oahu. There are some students who have been involved in Special Olympics for years, while others are just starting out.

All have an equally special and memorable time spending time with each other. Keoni, a unified partner, shared that she “had lots of fun with (her) partner... (they) danced and have friendship bracelets.” Keoni and her partner are “best friends.” First time bocce athlete James loved hanging out with his unified partner on Oahu. When they returned from the State Games, the team shared their experiences with a number of their classmates.

At the Holiday Classic, Hilo High School was awarded the 2015 Outstanding School/Delegation Award. The entire group went up to receive their plaque with the bright smiles and inclusion that is typical of the Hilo High School Project UNIFY ohana. Hilo High School serves as an incredible example of inclusion and acceptance for us all.


Mahalo Bank of Hawaii!

Mahalo to Bank of Hawaii and the company’s generous employees for selecting Special Olympics Hawai’i as a recipient of this year’s 6th annual Live Kōkua Giving Campaign. This year’s campaign raised $667,889 for 23 local nonprofits!


Holiday Classic
This year's Holiday Classic was held on November 21st and 22nd at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam and Kaneohe Bay Marine Corps Base.
Hundreds of athletes competed in bowling, basketball, and bocce, as well as celebrated the last season of our state games.
See pictures below and more on our flickr site!
Mahalo to each and everyone one of you for being a part of our competitions, and we are excited to see you compete in 2016!



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